Thirty five duffels weighing 50 to 70 pounds each went to Haiti with the team of 18 people, and all of their contents were unpacked, counted, categorized, labeled, sorted, and repacked today. After several years of doing this (and almost always having veterans of other trips on the returning teams) this massive doesn't slip into the kind of chaos that you would imagine! We are grateful for the generosity that makes a day like this necessary and even fun for the team, though probably a little daunting. There's a wonderful mix this trip of returning team members who have done this before and eager first timers who just jumped right in on this task. And all are excited to actually get startedtomorrow!
A few of our donor churches focused on shoes and socks for the kids of Cavaillon this trip, and man, were they successful! At least 200 pairs of shoes (play and dress shoes for each child) and 450 pairs of socks! How great is that? Kids who play and live without shoes in Haiti are prone to serious injury and parasite infestation, so this is really a big deal for their health care - although we don't usually think of shoes in that way! Thanks to the donor churches in Chicago and Las Vegas for these wonderful provisions. See a few pictures of the sorting work done today, attached.
The "water team" sent two representatives to Cavaillon to inspect things this afternoon, and reports were good. Also, ESMI (through other donors) had solar panels installed around the compound in addition to the solar panels that our donors made possible for the water purification system. Unfortunately, no training was provided for their use and it quickly went offline. Our team will try to trouble shoot that issue for ESMI while doing their own work, too, which DOES include intense, hands on training of Haitians who've been recruited for that training in order to avoid just that kind of problem with the water purification system once our team leaves. There are a few pictures of a similar purification system set up in Cambry and also a picture of the outside of the housing unit at Cavaillon attached.
The plan for tomorrow calls for all to go to Cavaillon, water team and medical team. Its a 45 minute trip via pick up trucks over some pretty bumpy roads and almost roads. They'll hope to leave about 8:30 and return about 6:00. The medical team's goal would be to see about 1/2 of the kids tomorrow, and the rest when everyone returns Tuesday. The water team will be spending every day this week at Cavaillon, but the medical team will be elsewhere Wednesday and Thursday. Hopefully a little play time with the kids, too, and some time dedicated to showing some care to the housemoms, as well.
For prayer this evening and tomorrow:
- Refreshing sleep. There was electricity tonight, but the air conditioning is set to start only at 10:00 pm (which it did). Please pray it stays on to foster a good night's sleep in the stuffiness of small rooms in hot conditions.
- Continued health. All are well, and our team member with the cold is being well taken care of.
- For the tasks at hand tomorrow. So many pieces need to come together for the water system - literally, as it came to Haiti in pieces and needs to be installed piece by piece - including in depth training of Haitians who will keep it running once our team leaves. And also for the medical team as they take care of the 90 or so children living at Cavaillon.
- Safe travel, back and forth. No flat tires or other complications, which can shorten their days considerably. No AAA to call!
- In all, a unity and a joy in service so that they Haitians know that our team is there "nan nom Jesi", in Jesus' name.